DAVE CHALLINOR admits his Hartlepool United side paid a high price for some “naïve” game management as they threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with ten-man Ebbsfleet United.

Having cruised into the second round of the FA Cup when they scored four goals at Yeovil last Tuesday, Pools looked set for another successful away day when Gavan Hoolahan’s first-half brace fired them into a 2-0 lead at Ebbsfleet’s Kuflink Stadium.

Their task was made even simpler when Josh Umerah’s dismissal on the stroke of half-time meant Ebbsfleet had to play the whole of the second half with just ten men, but rather than the collapsing, Pools’ opponents mounted an unexpected comeback.

Myles Weston hauled Ebbsfleet back into the game when he scored with 18 minutes left, and the hosts’ comeback was complete when Weston scored his second goal of the game from a direct free-kick with nine minutes left.

“Football has a habit of giving you elation and then grabbing it away from you in the next breath,” said Challinor, who has replaced Craig Hignett as Pools boss. “I can be critical, I can be annoyed and angry, all those things but I am disappointed for the players because I think we’ve done more than enough to win that game.

“If you’re going to be successful at any level you need to be ruthless. The game could have been won in the first half and should have been won in the first ten minutes of the second half. Then we showed a bit of naivety and it’s déjà vu from Notts County where the game turned.”

Challinor has hit the ground running since his appointment at Victoria Park, so the former AFC Fylde boss is not about to get too disheartened at his side’s failure to close out what should have been a winning position. Nevertheless, he admits there are some lessons to be learned.

“There were loads of positives, but unfortunately a little bit of negativity too,” he said. “We move forward now and use that as a learning experience and motivation to go and win next week.”

Hartlepool: Killip, Kioso, Kerr, Featherstone, Kitching, Raynes, Mafuta, Holohan (Kennedy 84), Donaldson, James, Kabamba (Toure 76).